Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Radical Discipleship

A. W. Tozer wrote many years ago, and yet what he wrote seems so relevant to today as well. Sometimes he comes across a bit grumpy, but his words ought to alert our consciences. The following is from today's devotional reading:

The church is afflicted by dry rot. This is best explained when the psychology of nonexpectation takes over and spiritual rigidity sets in, which is an inability to visualize anything better, a lack of desire for improvement.

There are many who respond by arguing, "I know lots of evangelical churches that would like to grow, and they do their best to get the crowds in. They want to grow and have contests to make their Sunday school larger." That is true, but they are trying to get people to come and share their rut. They want people to help them celebrate the rote and finally join in the rot. Because the Holy Spirit is not given a chance to work in our services, nobody is repenting, nobody is seeking God, nobody is spending a day in quiet waiting on God with open Bible seeking to mend his or her ways. Nobody is doing it-- we just want more people. But more people for what? More people to come and repeat our dead services without feeling, without meaning, without wonder, without surprise? More people to join us in the bondage to the rote? For the most part, spiritual rigidity that cannot bend is too weak to know just how weak it is. Rut, Rot or Revival: The Condition of the Church, 8! ,9.

I had begun reading Francis Chan's book, Crazy Love, before Jenny got sick. I have picked it back up and have been reawakened to Jesus' call to discipleship. Chan is a radical disciple. Google his name and read about him on wikipedia.

1 comment:

Jeff said...

I appreciate Tozer's comments and really enjoyed Chan's book.

I'm fed up with "doing church" and I have quit looking at the attendance records and contribution. The church will know how it is doing by how well it fulfills God's desire for the church. I realize we can't accurately count spiritual growth but we will see it's fruit. It will cause our worship service to be more powerful because hearts are attuned to God. It will cause our seats to fill up because people will be drawn by love, not responsibility.

I spent many years attending church because we aren't supposed to forsake the assembly. I have come to the idea that people forsake the assembly because real love and worship to the Lord isn't present, not because they rather be somewhere else.

I recently attended a worship service in Round Rock that ended too soon and we had been there almost an hour and a half. The worship leader led with passion and the preacher taught the Word with a powerful message and the people appeared to love worshipping joyfully. That service still resonates with me 2 months later because it helped draw me closer to God that morning.